Tawa Cooking – Gosht Banjara ( Spicy Goat Stir Fry )

Banjara literally translates to Gypsy. Gosht Banjara is cooking goat gypsy style where the spices are not ground into a smooth powder but pounded coarsely using a pestle. This dish is heavily influenced by hyderabadi style of cooking. The freshly pounded spices gave it a real authentic flavor.

The recipe itself is simple, easy and quick except for waiting for the goat meat to get tender in boiling water. Since we pre-cooked the meat by simmering it in water along with spices, the actual cooking time is really very less. The leftover stock can be used for making soups. We made a delicious Lucknowi Shorba from the left-over stock. The gravy of the recipe, called Kadhai Gravy, was also pre-cooked and can be used as a curry base for many other dishes. For best taste, serve it hot with fresh roti or parathas.

Watch our video for the recipe and we hope that it inspires you to try it out. Please leave us a feedback/comment.

Ingredients Summary:

Serves – 4; Total Time – 2 hour

For the Gravy:

Coriander Seeds – 4 tsp; Whole Red Chili – 5; Ghee 3 Tbs; Garlic PAste – 3 tsp; Green Chilies – 4; Ginger – 20 gm; Tomatoes – 350 gm; Kasuri Methi (Fenugreek) – 1/2 Tbs; Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp; Salt – to taste;

For the Meat:

Goat (Leg) – 1 Kg; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom - 5; Black Cardamom - 1; Cloves - 5; Cinnamon - 1 inch; Bay Leaf - 1; Mace - 1 pinch]; Ghee – 1/2 cup; Onion – 100 gm; Green Chili – 4; Ginger – 30 gm; Coriander Seeds – 4 tsp; Whole Red Chilies – 5; Coriander Leaves – 1/4 cup; Kasuri Methi (Fenugreek) – 1/2 tsp; Salt – to taste; Garam Masala – 1 tsp;

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Tawa Cooking – Pav Bhaji ( Spicy Mashed Potatoes with Grilled Buns )

Pav Bhaji must be the most popular recipe cooked on a tawa in India. Google up Pav Bhaji and you will get zillions of Pav Bhaji recipes and also its history on Wikipedia. We still remember the ad of Everest Spices on TV in India with a punch line that conveyed Everest Pav Bhaji Masala is a blend of 13 secret spices. The punch line added so much elusiveness to the recipe that my mom actually used to use it. Though invented in Mumbai, the recipe has made its way to every nook and corner in India and is an extremely popular street food and also served in high-end fast food chains.

Pav Bhaji Stall at Mumbai's Juhu Beach

  The base of the recipe is boiled potatoes mashed up with spices and butter which is what the original recipe was. As time went by creativity made its way with addition of peas, cauliflower, bell peppers etc. We made Pav Bhaji with just potatoes to keep it simple and original; and we did not use any ready-made Pav Bhaji masala. We realize now what a hoax the ad was. The truth is it’s a simple recipe that needs just garam masala (we used MDH brand garam masala) and some red chilies. The taste is all from butter; and we love butter in our food so we used it really generously.

Pav Bhaji with an extra dollop of Butter

Try out this Pav Bhaji recipe at home because this is could not become more simpler than this. Watch the video for the recipe and let us know what you think.
 
 
Ingredients Summary:
 
Serves: 4; Total Time: 40 min
 
Potatoes – 675 gm or 1 1/2 lb; Ghee – 1/2 cup; Green Chilies – 4; Ginger – 15 gm or 1/2 oz; Tomatoes – 250 gm or 9 oz; Whole Red Chilies – 4; Ginger Paste – 1 tsp; Garlic Paste – 1 tsp; Salt – to taste; Butter – 5 Tbs; Garam Masala – 2 tsp; Coriander Leaves – 1/2 cup; Lemon Juice – 2 Tbs; 
 

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Tawa Cooking – Jhinga Tawa Masala (Spicy Prawns)

The tawa or tavah is a flat or slightly concave disk shape griddle mostly made of cast iron and is an essential cooking utensil in all regions of India. The household tawa found in Indian homes is smaller and mostly used to cook flat breads like roti and paratha. In southern India its is used to make delicacies like Dosa etc.    

Traditional Household Tawa


The delicacies that we are planning to cook and post in Tawa Series are traditionally not meant to be cooked in the conventional household griddle. The recommended tawa for all these delicacies is much thicker and larger (at least 24 inch diameter). The thickness prevents sticking to a larger extent. The larger surface allows to food to be moved to periphery – away from the heat of the flame.    

The Real Tawa used in eateries


We are no professional cooks with big kitchen where we can cook on such a big tawa, so we are going to try all the tawa recipes on our small 12 inch non-stick tawa. One great advantage of tawa cooking over other utensils: the cooking process is very quick and takes the least time. However, during the short time it demands constant attention of stirring to avoid the risk of burning. 

Our Tawa


What is the difference between Shrimp and Prawns? Whatever be the difference, we call both of them Jhinga in hindi and it really doesn’t matter which one you use because both of them taste the same. Just try to get the biggest size available in the market. This prawn recipe uses Ajwain, the flavor of which elevates the taste of this delicacy from ordinary curry to a gourmet’s delight. The prawns napped in Makhani gravy and the ease of preparation makes this delicacy all the more attractive.    

Jhinga Tawa Masala served with Steaming White Rice


Watch our video for the recipe of this easy prawn delicacy and please leave us your feedback/comments.    

    
Ingredients Summary    

Serves: 4; Total Time: 1 hour    

For the gravy:    

Tomato (chopped) – 450 gm or 1 lb; Ginger paste – 1 tsp; Garlic paste – 1 tsp; Green Chili – 3; Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp; Cloves – 5; Cardamom – 4; Salt – to taste; Butter – 80 gm or 3 oz; Cream – 1/3 cup; Kasoori Methi (Fenugreek) – 1 1/2 tsp; Ginger – 10 gm or 1/2 oz;    

For the prawns:    

Prawns – 1 Kg or 2 1/4 lb;  Ghee – 6 Tbs; Ajwain – 2 tsp; Onions – 200 gm or 7 oz; Green Chili – 3; Ginger – 10 gm or 1/2 oz; Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp; Fresh Coriander – 1/2 cup; Lemon juice – 2 Tbs; Garam Masala – 1 tsp; Salt – to taste;

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Handi Cooking – Kacchi Mirch ka Gosht (Goat cooked in Green Peppercorn curry)

Welcome to the concluding post of our handi cooking series. We did 10 classic handi recipes and learned a new cooking technique from each one. Today’s final handi recipe is a delectable goat meat dish, done in a creamy, but hot Green Peppercorn curry, flavored with saffron and the rarely used fennel in North Indian cooking.

This is for the first time we have used Green Peppercorn in our cooking and we actually even did not know about something called Green Peppercorn till we came across this recipe. Green peppercorns are the product of the same plant that gives us Black Peppercorn but harvested when the berry is immature. Peppercorns are, by monetary value, the most widely traded spice in the world, India being the largest producer of all kinds of peppercorns and ironically we never saw Green Peppercorn in grocery stores in India. We will be extremely grateful if someone can let us know if green peppercorn is easily available in India at the grocery stores.

The recipe is one of the easiest goat curry to cook. Watch us cook this extremely mouth-watering goat curry. We think this recipe will be sure a hit if any restaurant puts it up on their menu.

Ingredients Summary:

Serves – 4; Total time – 2 hours;

Goat (leg) – 1 Kg or 2 1/4 lb; Yogurt – 1 cup; Coriander Seeds – 4 tsp; Cumin Seeds – 1 Tbs; Black Cumin Seeds (Shahi Jeera) – 1 3/4 tsp; Black Peppercorn – 1 1/2 tsp; Salt – to taste; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom - 5; Black Cardamom - 1; Cloves - 5; Cinnamon - 1 inch; Bay Leaf - 1; Mace - 1 pinch]; Onions – 250 gm or 8 1/2 oz; Ginger – 20 gm or 3/4 oz; Green Chilies – 4; Green Peppercorn – 1 Tbs; Saffron – 1 tsp; Cream – 3/4 cup; Fennel Powder – 1 tsp;

We hope all who read and liked the handi cooking series will try at least one recipe at home. The next series we are going to do will be Tawa (griddle) series. So keep a watch on our blog for our first tawa recipe The Jhinga Tawa Masala.

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Handi Cooking – Kumbh Hara Dhania ( Coriander Mushroom )

This is our penultimate post in handi cooking series. A rich vegetarian curry that highlights the importance of fresh coriander in Indian cooking. Use of boiled onion paste in the recipe helped improve the texture and taste. The cashew paste added towards the end made it rich and creamy.

The recipe is simple and easy to cook. Except for making the boiled onion paste and cashew paste, the preparation involves just getting the ingredients together, blanching and cutting the mushrooms. The gravy or curry for this recipe is the basic gravy that can be used for kofta and paneer delicacies as well. Add 3 Tbs of fried onion paste and 1 tsp of garam masala in the end along with the cashew paste if using the gravy for kofta or paneer delicacies.

Watch our video to see us cook this yummy vegetarian curry simmered with button mushrooms and fresh coriander.

Ingredients Summary:

Mushrooms (fresh) –  600 gm or 1 1/3 lb; Ghee – 3/4 cup; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom - 5; Black Cardamom - 1; Cloves - 5; Cinnamon - 1 inch; Bay Leaf - 1; Mace - 1 pinch]; Onion – 150 gm or 1/3 lb; Black cardamom – 1; Bay leaf – 1; Ginger Garlic paste – 8 tsp; Green Chilies – 4 (chopped); Ginger – 30 gm or 1 oz; Red Chili Powder  – 1 tsp; Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp; Yogurt 1 1/2 cup; Cashews – 45 gm or 1 1/2 oz; Fresh Coriander – 1 cup (chopped); Salt – to taste;

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Handi Cooking – Murgh Navratan

Murgh Navratan is by far the most exotic chicken curry we have made. The delicacy is rich yet mild and it is royal. Navratan in hindi means Nine Gems. The Mughal emperor Akbar, despite his illiteracy, was a great lover of the artists and intellectuals. His passion for knowledge and interest in learning from great minds led him to attract men of genius to his court, known as the nine courtiers of King Akbar or Navratnas. However, in our recipe of Murgh Navratan, the Nine Gems are nine exotic dry fruits like almonds, pine nuts, raisins, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds etc.

The original recipe from Chef Arvind Saraswat specifies to use melon seeds but we substituted melon seeds with pumpkin seeds as we could not find melon seeds at the local grocery (I am sure we could have found it if we had made the effort). We love to cook the recipes that do not use the regular Indian curry base of tomato, ginger, garlic, cumin powder and coriander powder. This is one such unique recipe. The preparation takes a while but cooking is really simple.

When living in India we never bought dry fruits like sunflower seeds, melon seeds, pine nuts, macadamia nuts etc. Readers in India, please leave comments with your views on if these ingredients are easily and readily available at grocery stores in your area.

We hope you will enjoy watching us cook this exotic chicken curry as much as we enjoyed cooking it.

Ingredients Summary:

Chicken (cut into pieces) – 1.2 Kgs or 2 2/3 lbs; Yogurt – 1 1/2 cups; Salt – to taste; Ghee – 3/4 cup; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom - 5; Black Cardamom - 1; Cloves - 5; Cinnamon - 1 inch; Bay Leaf - 1; Mace - 1 pinch]; Onions – 200gm or 7 oz; Ginger – 15 gm or 1/2 oz; Green Chilies – 4; Turmeric – 1/2 tsp; Red Chili Powder – 2 tsp; Heavy Cream – 1/2 cup; Mace Powder – 1/4 tsp; Cardamom Powder 1/4 tsp;

For the Shahi (royal) Paste:

Poppy Seeds – 2 Tbs; Almonds – 40 gm or 1/4 cup; Cashews – 40 gm or 1/4 cup; Pumpkin or Melon seeds – 2 Tbs;

For the Garnish (The Navratans or the Nine Gems):

Pistachio – 15; Almonds – 10; Cashews – 10; Walnuts (broken) – 1 Tbs; Macadamia Nuts – 1 Tbs; Sunflower Seeds – 1 Tbs; Pine Nuts – 1 Tbs; Pecans – 10; Raisins – 1 Tbs;

Feel free to substitute the dry fruits with your choice of dry fruits depending on availability.

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Handi Cooking – Gosht aur Vadi Biryani (Goat and Lentil Dumpling Rice Pilaf)

The delicacy that got me interested in cooking years ago was biryani as I was always intrigued by the exotic nature of the recipe. There are too many varieties of biryani that is cooked in India and some recipes in family owned restaurants are a well-kept family secret that has been passing on from generations. We started our handi series with a vegetarian biryani recipe and today we are posting our first non-vegetarian, red meat biryani recipe.

Goat meat and Urad Dal dumplings (vadi – picture below), simmered in an exotic gravy and cooked on dum with rice makes eating  this delectable biryani a celebration. Biryani can be cooked in two ways: Kacchi (raw) Biryani and Pakki (cooked) Biryani. The difference is that in Kacchi method the raw meat is cooked with rice which allows all meat flavors to get well absorbed in rice. In Pakki method the meat is cooked before-hand and mixed with rice. Our recipe today is a pakki biryani and it turned out to be equally flavorful as kacchi biryani. We will make kacchi biryani when we will do hyderabadi biryani as part of our South India series in near future. Watch our video for this delectable recipe which made us lost control and we just kept on eating till we were filled up to the throat.
 
 
Ingredients Summary:
 
Serves: 8; Total Time: 2 hours
 
For the Rice:
Basmati Rice: 500 gm or 1.1 lb; Milk: 1 litre or 4 cups; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom - 10; Black Cardamom - 2; Cloves - 10; Cinnamon - 2 inch; Bay Leaf - 2; Mace - 2 pinch]; Salt – to taste;
 
For the Goat:
Leg of Goat (cut into cubes) – 1 kg or 2.2 lbs; Yogurt – 400 gm or 1 and 1/2 cup; Red Chili Powder 2 tsp; Coriander Powder – 1 tsp; Salt – 1 tsp; Ginger – 15 gm or 1/2 oz; Garlic – 5 to 6 cloves; Ghee – 1 cup; Onion – 250 gm or 8 and 1/2 oz; Green Chili – 8 ; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom - 10; Black Cardamom - 2; Cloves - 10; Cinnamon - 2 inch; Bay Leaf - 2; Mace - 2 pinch];
 
For the Garnish:
Vadi – 100 gm or 4 oz; Dried Mint – 1/4 cup; Coriander leaves – 30 gm or 1 oz; Tomato – 200 gm or 7 oz; Ginger – 30 gm or 1 oz; Onions (thinly sliced) – 120 gm or 4 oz; Asafoetida – a pinch; Saffron – 1 tsp; Milk – 60 ml or 1/4 cup;

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Handi Cooking – Achaar Korma

Handi cooking is prevalent in most of India but it has carved a niche in the Northern states and one such state is Rajasthan. Today’s handi recipe is a creative endeavour that owes much to the Rajasthani cuisine which is semi-dry goat or lamb done in a combination of mustard oil, mustard seeds, kalonji (Nigella Seeds) and jaggery – mostly the ingredients that go into making the Indian pickles (achaar).

A whiff of Achaar Korma is enough to tickle the palate and get one salivating. Due to the extreme hot and dry summer in North India, the palate for eating red meat goes down during the season even among the dedicated meat lovers but this one is just a perfect recipe for hot summer sunday lunch. Just serve it with hot steaming white rice and some sliced onions and cucumbers on the side. Personally, we felt this recipe was fairly easy to do and did not involve too many ingredients and processes. Watch our video for this simple and awesome goat recipe for this summer.

Ingredients Summary

Serves: 4; Total Time: 1.40 hours

Goat/Lamb (leg) – 1 kg or 2 and 1/4 lb; Turmeric – 1/2 tsp; Salt – to taste; Mustard Oil – 4 tsp; Ghee – 1/2 cup; Onions – 125 gm or 4.4 oz; Whole Red Chili – 8; Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp; Cloves – 5; Asafoetida – a pinch; Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp; Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp; Kalonji – 1 tsp; Jaggery – 25 gm or 1 oz; Ginger – 15 gm or 3/4 oz; Garlic – 10 cloves; Lemon Juice – 2 Tbs; Yogurt – 1 cup;

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Handi Cooking – Methi Murgh

We are continuing our handi cooking series with this hit north Indian and Pakistani recipe called Methi Murgh or Fenugreek Chicken. Methi or fenugreek tastes best with fresh fenugreek and the world’s best fenugreek comes from Qasur in Pakistan. The dried fenugreek is now referred to as Kasoori Methi probably as a tribute to the fenugreek from Qasur. Kasoori Methi that is sold in market is not from Qasur though. The dried fenugreek, however, is an adequate replacement for the fresh leaves. Since, we had both fresh and dried fenugreek at our disposal, we happily used both the varieties in our recipe.

The taste of this delicacy was mild yet rich and filled with flavors for which the credit goes to the slow dum cooking. The methi flavor was not overpowering. We were afraid that it might be a little bitter because of fresh methi but soaking it in salted water before using it washed away the bitterness. There are so many recipes of this delicacy in the web but none matches to the way we cooked this. Please watch our video for the recipe of this ultimate chicken preparation.

Ingredients Summary:

Serves – 8; Total Time: 2 hours

Chicken – 2 Kg or 2 and 1/2 lb; Yogurt – 2 cup; Salt – to taste; Ghee – 1 cup; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom - 10; Black Cardamom - 2; Cloves - 10; Cinnamon - 2 inch; Bay Leaf - 2; Mace - 2 pinch]; Onion (chopped) – 600 gm or 1.3 lbs; Garlic (grated) – 60 gm or 2 oz; Ginger (grated) – 60 gm or 2 oz; Green Chili (chopped)- 11 to 12; Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp; Coriander Powder – 2 tsp; Red Chili Powder – 2 tsp; Tomato (chopped) – 300 gm or 11 oz; Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek) – 2 Tbs; Fresh Methi (fenugreek) – 1 cup; Fresh Coriander – 1/2 cup; Ginger (juliennes) – 40 gm or 1.4 oz;

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Handi Cooking – Aloo Chutneywale (Stuffed Potatoes in Tangy Chutney Sauce)

Our next recipe in handi series is an outstanding vegetarian curry called Aloo Chutneywale. This is an original recipe from famous chef Arvind Saraswat where potatoes stuffed with paneer are simmered in a tangy chutney. This dish is certain to leave the palate tingling.

What we liked most about this dish was that it was a refreshing change for a curry flavor. The sourness and tangyness of the chutney in the gravy made it very addictive. The tough part that needed a little patience was scooping out the potatoes and filling them. By the time we finished cooking this recipe we were completely exhausted but the experience was very rewarding nevertheless. An important aspect of cooking this recipe was 100% open pot cooking. At no point, while cooking, should the pot be covered with a lid. Watch our video for the recipe along with enjoying the latest number from Himesh.

Ingredients Summary

Serves – 8; Total Time – 2 hours and 30 minutes

Potatoes – 1.2 Kg or 2.7 lb; Oil for frying; Coriander leaves – 240 gm or 8 oz; Mint leaves – 100 gm or 3.5 oz; Raw Green Mango – 50 gm or 2 oz; Paneer – 200 gm or 7 oz; Green Chili – 15; Ginger – 8 gm or 1/3 oz; Cashewnuts – 16; Ghee – 1 cup; Onion – 250 gm or 8 oz; Black Cardamom – 1; Bay Leaf – 1; Ginger Garlic Paste – 10 tsp; Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp; Red Chili – 1.5 tsp; Yogurt – 300 gm or 10.5 oz; Tomato – 150 gm or 5 oz; Cashewnuts (for paste) – 50 gm or 2 oz; Garam Masala – 4 tsp; Salt – to taste;

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